Team Vows to Heal Divided City and Create Shared Vision for Hackensack
-Bart Haverty 201-957-9105, Campaign Manager
March 6, 2017
(Hackensack, NJ) Councilwoman Deborah Keeling-Geddis is heading a ticket in May 9 Hackensack City Council election that includes Richard Cerbo, David Dungey; Angelica Carfi-Meneses and Rafael A. Del Rosario.
The ticket running under the banner Hackensack Strong, is promising to cut government spending and lowering taxes, reduction in legal fees brought by needless lawsuits, improving relationships with city employees, and improved recreation.
Keeling-Geddis, who was elected to the city council in a special election in November 2015, says the current administration failed to make the reforms it promised and succeeded only in further dividing the city.
“The people who ran as reformers in 2013 didn’t live up to their promises,” -Deborah Keeling Geddis
…said Keeling-Geddis who works as a para-educator in the Special Services department for the Hackensack Board of Education.
“Instead of cutting taxes, they increased them by $8 million. Instead of ending costly lawsuits, they created more of them. The Labrosse-Canestrino administration has failed to do what it said it will do, “added Keeling-Geddis
“The Hackensack Strong team is committed to working with the people of this community to create a shared vision for how our city will look in the future,” said Keeling-Geddis. “We will repair the city council’s strained relationship with the community and give people a say in how their city is governed.”
Dungey, who works for Honeywell as a Principal IT Designer says that Hackensack Strong Team will create an effective plan to attract commercial development and the relocation of businesses to the city. A PhD student in Urban System, Dungey said the residents of the city are tired of the promotion of a redevelopment plan which has produced few tangible results.”
“The current redevelopment plan is lacking innovative direction and it masks some major deficiencies issues. Little has been accomplished with the current plan and people in the city are tired of waiting for an intelligent, comprehensive, workable redevelopment plan, “says Dungey who has worked for leading national corporations such Deloitte & Touché, KPMG, Bristol Meyers Squibb, and Bank of America to develop effective strategies.
Dungey said he wants to help create a realistic redevelopment that reflects the demands of the new internet economy where there is less need for brick and mortar retail space.
“We all want lower property taxes, more services and safe streets, but we need a comprehensive plan for redevelopment in order for any of that to happen,” -David Dungey
Carfi-Meneses, a real estate broker and owner of Hudson River Realty, states she has two children in the public-school system and is concerned about the lack of a working relationship between the Board of Education and the City. She is also concerned about the availability of affordable public recreation for children and sees a need for improvements to senior services and programs.
“With an effective redevelopment strategy, the city can raise the revenue needed to address issues such as recreation for our children and senior citizens,” -Angelica Carfi-Meneses.
A DIVIDED CITY
Cerbo, a former business owner, and life-long resident whose father served as mayor from 1981 to 1989 said he has seen the city go through many changes over four decades but has never seen the city so badly divided and a council that has no direction.
“The Labrosse administration moves from crisis to crisis with no apparent plan or course or direction for governing,” said Cerbo. “I have never seen a city administration that is more reactionary or more alienated from the people it is supposed to govern than the current one.”
“Our team objective will be to create a government that is inclusive and respectful of the citizens of this city. We will invite people to help chart a course for the future, not exclude them.”
Del Rosario, an entrepreneur, who earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from New Jersey City University, said he wants to work to improve business opportunities and services that will result in a positive transformation in the City of Hackensack.
“We need to find different ways to reach and help new and underserved entrepreneurs. In this way, we can create more jobs, develop a stronger middle class and bring more revenue to our city,” Rafael A. Del Rosario.
“Four years ago, we were promised a dramatic improvement in recreational facilities and opportunities for our children. That hasn’t happened. I will make sure that recreation expansion is a top priority for the city council,” added Del Rosario.